Tammy Richards to run for re-election for Plano ISD board of trustees

Tammy Richards, CEO at a nonprofit organization and current Plano ISD board member, is running for re-election for Place 1 on the board.

Places 2, 3 and 6 will also appear on the May 6 ballot.

Before the election, Community Impact Newspaper sent Powell a series of questions on her candidacy. Her written responses, edited for publication style, are below.

Tammy Richards is running for re-election for Plano ISD board of trustees Place 1. Tammy Richards is running for re-election for Plano ISD board of trustees Place 1.[/caption]

Why are you running for re-election?

It has been an honor to serve the children and families of PISD as a member of the board of trustees the last seven years, including two as board president. I’ve lived in Plano for 29 years, and I’ve had children in PISD schools for 16 years. My husband, Mike Douglass, is an engineering manager at Texas Instruments. Our daughter, Julia Douglass, is a Plano West and Texas A&M University graduate. Our son, Mark Douglass, is a recent Plano West graduate and a student at Texas A&M University. I know and love this community and would be honored to continue to serve the children, the families, the teachers and the broader community of PISD.

PISD is a vibrant, dynamic school district. I will work with our community, my fellow trustees and the district administration to continue to provide the very best educational experience for all our children in all our schools and to be a careful steward of our tax dollars.

Why are you qualified for this position?

I have a vision of how we can continue to make our school district a model for other communities. I understand what our students must do to be competitive, both as they graduate from Plano schools and apply to colleges and as they enter the global workforce and compete with students from other nations. I have an MBA from Harvard University and an engineering degree from Texas A&M University.

Throughout my business career and my volunteer service, I have worked in support of education. I have worked with school districts across the nation and educators across the globe. I am excited to continue to use my business experience and education knowledge as a partner with our school district leaders and as an advocate for the children and parents of Plano.

If re-elected, what will you focus on?

As a school board, we have accomplished a great deal over the last seven years:

  • PISD opened the Plano Academy High School, the Health Sciences Academy in partnership with Collin College and expanded the International Baccalaureate program to a four-year experience at Plano East Senior High School.

  • The district was only one of 425 school districts in the nation to be selected by the College board for the sixth Annual AP District Honor Roll. PISD administers over 13,000 AP exams, allowing students to gain college credit while still in high school and saving their families college tuition dollars.

  • PISD received a top rating for the 14th consecutive year through the state’s financial accountability rating system. This system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes. The district also has the highest stand-alone credit rating (Aaa/AA+) carried by any school district in Texas and saved $77.6 million in debt service through bond refinancing.

I plan to focus on:

  • Developing educational systems to support our diverse populations: As our student population becomes more diverse, we must ensure that our curricular and pedagogical systems support a diverse population. A diverse classroom and school environment offers a richness to the experience and education of our students and will prepare them well for a global work environment.

  • Expanding choices for students: Students and families appreciate choices. For many, college is the next step after high school graduation. For others, personal choice or circumstances may require that they graduate from high school with marketable job skills. Our educational system must support both. In addition, we should broaden our collaboration with our local community college to increase our dual credit offerings so that all students can graduate with at least 30 college credit hours.

  • Managing expenditures carefully: PISD has the second lowest tax rate of all school districts in Collin County and spends the second largest percentage of total expenditures directly in the classroom of any of its peer districts. I will continue this careful stewardship of our tax dollars.

For more information about Richards' campaign, visit her Facebook page.

Carissa Picard has also filed for Place 1.

Election day is May 6 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., and early voting will run from April 24-29 (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) and May 1-2 (7 a.m.-7 p.m.). Polling locations have not been announced.


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